Central England Co-op backs week-long National Respect for Shopworkers Week to better protect staff

Posted by rob smyth | Published: 16/11/2020

Central England Co-op is asking shoppers to treat its colleagues with respect as part of ongoing efforts to keep people safe as the nights draw in and Covid-19 restrictions continue.

As part of Usdaw’s National Respect for Shopworkers Week, the retailer is telling criminals and anyone who might physically or verbally threaten staff that ‘it is not worth the risk’.

Customers will be able to find out more about the campaign via posters in stores, which include details of how to sign an online petition calling for a new law to better protect colleagues.

Support for this week-long campaign comes after the food business recorded 10 major incidents since July ranging from colleagues being slashed or threatened with knives to others being hospitalised after being attacked by shoplifters.

Overall, this year, verbal abuse has jumped by 175%, assaults by 34% and threats by 12% compared to 2019.

It can also be revealed that a total of 279 crimes related directly to Covid-19 have been recorded in stores.

Craig Goldie, Loss Prevention Manager, said: “We are pleased to be able to support the Usdaw National Respect for Shopworkers Week.
“We hope people see the posters in store, respect our colleagues and also sign the petition to ensure new laws are put in place to better protect them.

“This has been something we have long campaigned for and this week-long campaign is a great way of continuing to talk about this really important issue.”
This week of activity comes at the same time as Central England Co-op rolls out a range of different measures in stores including; expanding a service it uses that allows colleagues, at the touch of the button, to call for assistance, and putting tracking devices in more products to deter would-be thieves.

This crackdown will be supported by several measures already in place in stores including:

  • centrally monitored CCTV system increased use of security officers and store detectives in stores
  • stringent cash controls
  • new colleague training on how to deal with situations involving violence or aggression
  • working with offenders to help them beat their addiction and support their integration back into the community

People can back the campaign and support the petition by visiting www.usdaw.org.uk/fff

Notes to editors

About Central England Co-operative

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK with interests in food, funeral, floral and property investment.


Co-operatives have always been there for their communities; they were formed to protect them and help them flourish. 


Our 7,550 colleagues who serve Members and customers work hard to ensure that co-operative values, principles and spirit flow through everything we do to help support and improve our local communities.


Owned by hundreds of thousands of Members, we have over 400 trading outlets across 16 counties including West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. 


We are proud of our reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.


We invest a percentage of our trading profit into local communities through our Community Dividend Fund scheme, have donated over £1.3 million to our corporate charity partner Dementia UK and also operate a pioneering food redistribution partnership with FareShare Midlands so unsold food goes to those in need.


Visit www.centralengland.coop for more information or follow us on Facebook or Twitter using @mycoopfood


Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle


Phone - 01543 421390


Email - publicrelations@centralengland.coop